Emergency Preparedness

Our current information age keeps us all too abreast of current events, not the least of which are emergency situations around the world. Since no one is exempt from inconvenience to tragedy, it only makes sense for us to be as prepared as we can. Here are just a few area you may want to check and/or improve to keep you and yours safe.

1. Fire Extinguishers and smoke detectors. Key areas might be garage, kitchen and AC/Furnace room. Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors 2 x year. Set a reminder on your computer or phone.

2. Emergency water. Will you be “up the creek” if the water supply is contaminated or interrupted? Why not stock a few cases of water bottles. Do it for free by rinsing empty 2 liter soda bottles. As long as the water you store is “potable” (means good drinking water, even from the tap) it will be safe. Recommend storing out of contact with sunlight. How about the hard to reach areas under the sink? Make sure NOT to put food/water storage containers directly on concreate floors (toxic). Goal is 14 gallons( 2 week supply) per family member. Store unscented household bleach to purify other water as needed.

Emergency Heat Can3. Emergency heat/power. Ever been long without power? Get some long burning candles or flashlights (maybe the crank powered ones?).  This is an inexpensive  and safe DIY project. Use a clean quart paint can (home improvement stores sell ’em). Smash in a roll of toilet paper and soak with alcohol. Replace lid. Tape on a BIC lighter and paint can opener. Once used refill the alcohol. The paper doesn’t even burn. Weird! Great to keep in the car in the winter. Butane stove burners are also very inexpensive and can even be used indoors. Be sure to get BUTANE and not PROPANE. Mine is a one burner and I have 4-8 bottles of butane. I could cook for several days/weeks on this if needed.

4. Emergency food. Gather up some meals that require no refrigeration and little or no cooking. Here’s my a list of breakfast foods I can keep on hand. All can be prepared with at least my butane stove (above). Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Pancakes, Rice, Cold Cereal. For lunches or dinners: Packaged/canned soups, pasta dishes, canned meats, beans, and of course, classic PBJ and crackers. Be sure to add in some candy (especially CHOCOLATE) and canned fruits. When you and yours are under stress, familiar favorites will taste pretty darn good.